Beaches, sand, sun, mountains, deserts, parks — some might say the West Coast has it all. But to enjoy all of this outdoor adventuring, you’ll need a hub to operate from. And one of the best ways to do that is to invest in a vacation property. Then, when you want to use your personal getaway, you can. And the rest of the time, you can rent it out and earn money.
To find out where you should consider looking, GOBankingRates sourced median home prices from Realtor.com and occupancy percentages, average daily rates and average annual revenues for area rentals from AirDNA, which tracks the performance data of 10 million Airbnb and Vrbo properties. Here are the six best places on the West Coast to own vacation property.
Joshua Tree, California
- Median home price: $515,000
- Occupancy: 71%
- Average daily rate: $266
- Average annual revenue: $57,204
“With its mild winters and proximity to both Los Angeles and the Mojave Desert, Joshua Tree is an ideal location for a vacation rental property,” said Kev Tilley, mortgage broker and managing director of Mortgageable UK. “Joshua Tree still has the air of a secret hideaway. It has a raw, High Desert appeal about it, as well as a magical aura.”
Vacation properties in Joshua Tree offer an impressive occupancy rate of 71% as compared to the average of 62% across all U.S. rentals. And with an average daily rate of $266 and average revenue of over $57,000, owning a getaway home here could be quite lucrative.
- Median home price: $748,000
- Occupancy: 60%
- Average daily rate: $464
- Average annual revenue: $72,564
Temecula, California, located in Southern California’s wine country, is only an hour away from locations such as San Diego and Palm Springs, but there’s plenty to do without having to take a road trip. The area boasts nearly 50 wineries and a dozen breweries, plus a meadery. Hot air ballooning, bicycling, hiking and golfing are activities you’ll find for outdoor enthusiasts. And Old Town Temecula offers shopping, dining, wine tasting, museums and an entertaining nightlife scene situated in a walkable district.
Even though Temucula’s median home prices are approaching $750,000 and the occupancy is a little below average, the average daily rate of $464 and average annual revenue of over $72,000 could make investing here worth it.
Palm Springs, California
- Median home price: $775,000
- Occupancy: 73%
- Average daily rate: $497
- Average annual revenue: $82,524
Liz Coughlin, partner and COO of HD Properties in Palm Springs and Los Angeles, believes Palm Springs is the perfect location to own a vacation property for several reasons, including “off-the-charts seasonal demand” from January through May, sublime weather, fantastic restaurants, outdoor activities and special attractions.
“Palm Springs has taken the time to develop some very clear rules and city code around rentals, to make the balance between vacation rentals and seasonal or full-time residences very fair,” Coughlin said. “It’s super-organized and very well run.”
And while the median home price here is one of the highest on the list, so is the average annual revenue of over $82,000.
- Median home price: $775,000
- Occupancy: 67%
- Average daily rate: $255
- Average annual revenue: $45,324
“This picturesque city is situated in some of the most beautiful scenery in the Pacific Northwest, making it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts,” Tilley said. “And with its relatively low cost of living, Bend is also an excellent option for those looking to purchase vacation property on a budget. It is situated within driving distance of other major cities on the West Coast, making it easy to get to no matter where you’re coming from.”
An above-average occupancy and a solid daily rate for rentals adds up to over $45,000 in annual revenue, which is worth considering when you weigh what this city has to offer you as a vacation destination.
- Median home price: $425,000
- Occupancy: 78%
- Average daily rate: $159
- Average annual revenue: $27,600
“[Salem, Oregon] is the third-most affordable place to live on the West Coast,” said Stephen Keighery, CEO and founder of Home Buyer Louisiana. “It is also near the Willamette Valley and the Cascade Mountains, which offer great scenic opportunities for your stay. Salem, Oregon, also faces good economic growth and welcomes new residents.”
The affordability of Salem can help you snag a vacation home at a lower price than some other West Coast locations. And even though the average daily rate is lower at $159, the 78% occupancy is promising for annual revenue you can count on.
Ocean Shores, Washington
- Median home price: $416,300
- Occupancy: 65%
- Average daily rate: $220
- Average annual revenue: $39,708
Marina Vaamonde, real estate investor and founder of House Cashin, said that with its lower median listing price, Ocean Shores has a far lower barrier to entry than the typical West Coast beachfront like Los Angeles and San Francisco. “It’s a great area for families because it’s close to major metro hubs like Portland, Oregon and Seattle and has many miles of coastline, fun local festivals and free nature activities to do,” she said.
The median home price here is the lowest on the list, but the occupancy and average daily rate aren’t. That combination is hard to beat.
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